Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, May 01, 2014

The Daily Beast: In the early 1980s, senior members of the British foreign service were appalled by what they saw as the American president's bumbling ignorance and lack of interest in world affairs. Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were often portrayed as geopolitical soul mates, but government files declassified in London on Wednesday expose a deep British disdain for the president who was described in official papers as homophobic, uninformed, disinterested and, not to put too fine a point on it, a "bozo." The British Foreign Office files show that Prime Minister Thatcher was warned President Reagan had little interest in world affairs and was unable to sustain a serious conversation about contemporary politics. The damning critiques, which expressed sheer incredulity that this man could occupy the White House, were shared at the highest levels of government before and after Reagan's first state visit to Britain in 1982.

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I knew Ronald Reagan.
Ronald Reagan was a friend of mine.
And, yes, Ronald Reagan was a bozo.
But, boy, did that guy know his bananas.
~ Bonzo

#1 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2014-05-01 08:07 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 3

GASP! There are people in another country who didn't like Reagan? I wonder....let me check.....yep, right here: turns out there were people in THIS country that didn't like him either.

#2 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-05-01 08:28 AM | Reply | Flag:

I don't doubt there were a number of people who liked Reagan and believed him to be a bozo. A likeable bozo, if you will. But a bozo, nonetheless.

#3 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2014-05-01 08:44 AM | Reply | Flag:

Yeah but he was a hell of an actor.

#4 | Posted by CrisisStills at 2014-05-01 02:13 PM | Reply | Flag:

Yes, but Genesis portrayed him as Superman, so it's kind of a wash, no?

#5 | Posted by TheTom at 2014-05-01 02:46 PM | Reply | Flag:

Whenever some foreign diplomat or official says something mocking or insulting about President Obama, the right wing has a field day with it. So remember this Reagan insult the next time that happens.

Some foreigners are going to insult our president, and it might be motivated by things that have nothing to do with the president's intellect (or lack thereof). Sometimes it's jealousy or resentment at the U.S. throwing too much weight around. In this case, it could just be some British snobbery.

#6 | Posted by rcade at 2014-05-01 07:52 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

George Bush Senior (and most conservative economist) called "Mr. Hollywood" Ronald Reagan's, trickle down economics "voodoo-economics" until Reagan offered-bribed Bush with the Vice President job, too just SHUT-UP

#7 | Posted by SammyAZ_RI at 2014-05-01 09:51 PM | Reply | Flag:

Daaaaaaaaaamn.

So the other big conservative head of state that was alive at the time thought he was dumb as crap?

Does that confirm what his critics have said for decades?

#8 | Posted by Tor at 2014-05-01 09:55 PM | Reply | Flag:

which expressed sheer incredulity that this man could occupy the White House

Just think what they thought of Dubya.

#9 | Posted by northguy3 at 2014-05-01 10:51 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 2

Doc beat me to it...
It's Bonzo, you illiterate British twit!

#10 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-05-01 10:55 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

Bozo's heirs have filed a Formal Complaint with the British Embassy.

#11 | Posted by Corky at 2014-05-01 11:03 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 2

The only qualification you need to be President is the ability to be elected President. Ol' Reagan is the perfect example. We didn't ask if he could sustain a serious discussion about international politics. Who cares??? Can he deliver a zinger? That's what matters. We need our President to entertain us.

#12 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-05-01 11:04 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 3

Wiki "Bozo". Any of us would like to be as 'dumb' as that guy was. He was a multimillionaire and the guy who signed the Beatles to Capital Records.

#13 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-05-01 11:05 PM | Reply | Flag:

I suppose, given enough time, we were bound to find something Thatcher's crew got right.

#14 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-05-01 11:31 PM | Reply | Flag:

homophobic, uninformed, disinterested and a "bozo"

That about covers it.

#15 | Posted by Alexandrite at 2014-05-02 01:57 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Bozo's heirs have filed a Formal Complaint with the British Embassy."

In related news Bonzo heirs are planning to sue any who unfairly connected their dearly departed to Reagan.

#16 | Posted by Tor at 2014-05-02 02:11 AM | Reply | Flag:

GASP! There are people in another country who didn't like Reagan? I wonder....let me check.....yep, right here: turns out there were people in THIS country that didn't like him either.

#2 | POSTED BY MUSTANG AT 2014-05-01 08:28 AM | REPLY | FLAG

Did you even read the article?

The British critique of Reagan reads like the critique of today's conservative/Republican/Tea Party type: a gay-bashing, know-nothing, conspiracy screaming moron, who couldn't find Cyrenaica on a map, let alone find Syria on a map...

Another note added to a Washington dispatch, this time by Sir Derek Malcolm Day, Deputy Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in January 1982, bemoaned the Reagan White House's unwillingness to cooperate with its allies. "There is still a disturbing tendency, if consultation does not produce an early and desired result as far as the Americans are concerned, for the Administration to go their own way virtually regardless of the consequences,"

Read the above. Reagan killed 241 Marines FOR NOTHING, but your ilk yammers about Benghazi.

Reagan was ridiculed by our staunchest historical ally, at the highest levels... and your ilk goes bonkers about Obama bowing to low in foreign capitals...

Reagan, then Dubya, now your typical GOP presidential candidate pandering to their homophobic, know-nothing political base of constituents during each GOP primary season... the reason this great country of ours is struggling on many issues is due to the brain dead weight of typical GOP voters slowing down progress to a crawl.

#17 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2014-05-02 07:10 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

Reagan was just as good at being President as he was at being an actor. So there.

#18 | Posted by SomebodyElse at 2014-05-02 08:03 AM | Reply | Flag:

Reagan was just as good at being President as he was at being an actor. So there.

#18 | POSTED BY SOMEBODYELSE

...Perfect!

#19 | Posted by drewinnj at 2014-05-02 09:17 AM | Reply | Flag:

I still like bringing up Reagan every time some righty starts hyperventilating about Obama's "lack of real world experience" and how he never "had a real job."

So getting out there with the people on the street and fighting for them is nothing, but acting, now - especially B-movie westerns - there is something with serious cred for "leader of the free world."

#20 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-05-02 10:10 AM | Reply | Flag:

Ronald Reagan claimed that the Russian language had no word for "freedom." (The word is "svoboda"; it's quite well attested in Russian literature.)

Ronald Reagan said that intercontinental ballistic missiles (not that there are any non-ballistic missiles -- a corruption of language that isn't his fault) could be recalled once launched.

Ronald Reagan said that he sought a "Star Wars" defense only in order to share the technology with the tyrants of the U.S.S.R. Ronald Reagan professed to be annoyed when people called it "Star Wars," even though he had ended his speech on the subject with the lame quip, "May the force be with you."

Ronald Reagan used to alarm his Soviet counterparts by saying that surely they'd both unite against an invasion from Mars.

Ronald Reagan used to alarm other constituencies by speaking freely about the "End Times" foreshadowed in the Bible.

In the Oval Office, Ronald Reagan told Yitzhak Shamir and Simon Wiesenthal, on two separate occasions, that he himself had assisted personally at the liberation of the Nazi death camps.

www.slate.com

#21 | Posted by lee_the_agent at 2014-05-02 11:58 AM | Reply | Flag:

There was more to Ronald Reagan than that.

Reagan announced that apartheid South Africa had "stood beside us in every war we've ever fought," when the South African leadership had been on the other side in the most recent world war.

Reagan allowed Alexander Haig to greenlight the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, fired him when that went too far and led to mayhem in Beirut, then ran away from Lebanon altogether when the Marine barracks were bombed, and then unbelievably accused Tip O'Neill and the Democrats of "scuttling."

Reagan sold heavy weapons to the Iranian mullahs and lied about it, saying that all the weapons he hadn't sold them (and hadn't traded for hostages in any case) would, all the same, have fit on a small truck.

Reagan then diverted the profits of this criminal trade to an illegal war in Nicaragua and lied unceasingly about that, too.

Reagan then modestly let his underlings maintain that he was too dense to understand the connection between the two impeachable crimes.

He then switched without any apparent strain to a policy of backing Saddam Hussein against Iran. (If Margaret Thatcher's intelligence services had not bugged Oliver North in London and become infuriated because all European nations were boycotting Iran at Reagan's request, we might still not know about this.)

#22 | Posted by lee_the_agent at 2014-05-02 12:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

History will prove what a moronic criminal idiot he was.

And that's the best the GOP has had in recent history!

Ha, how funny.

Amazing how the rest of the world can easily tell which presidents are idiots.

Bush disgraced this nation so badly, but the world loves Clinton and Obama!

#23 | Posted by drewl at 2014-05-02 01:59 PM | Reply | Flag:

Gay Rights
No civil rights legislation for lesbian or gay individuals passed during Reagan's tenure. On the 1980 campaign trail, he spoke of the gay civil rights movement:

My criticism is that [the gay movement] isn't just asking for civil rights; it's asking for recognition and acceptance of an alternative lifestyle which I do not believe society can condone, nor can I.[90]

Civil Rights
Reagan opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

#24 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2014-05-02 02:26 PM | Reply | Flag:

They must really think the current resident of the White House is a fool. Compared to Reagan, Obama is Bush league.

#25 | Posted by sames1 at 2014-05-02 06:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

He was worse than a Bozo or a Bonzo.

He surrounded himself with crooks.

"By the end of his term, 138 Reagan administration officials had been convicted, had been indicted, or had been the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations. In terms of number of officials involved, the record of his administration was the worst ever."

#26 | Posted by oldwhiskeysour at 2014-05-03 01:40 PM | Reply | Flag:

Kurt Waldheim grew to appreciate Reagan after Bitburg Bonzo displayed his admiration for the Waffen SS.

#27 | Posted by reinheitsgebot at 2014-05-03 02:54 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

I don't doubt there were a number of people who liked Reagan and believed him to be a bozo. A likeable bozo, if you will. But a bozo, nonetheless.

#3 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis

You mean just like the president we have now? Who would have thunk.

#28 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-03 03:41 PM | Reply | Flag:

The only qualification you need to be President is the ability to be elected President. Ol' Reagan is the perfect example. We didn't ask if he could sustain a serious discussion about international politics. Who cares??? Can he deliver a zinger? That's what matters. We need our President to entertain us.

#12 | Posted by BruceBanner

Looking at our current president, I can't argue with you.

#29 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-03 03:43 PM | Reply | Flag:

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